• Motto

High-Earning Moms Lose Up to 10% of Their Income Per Child

2 minute read

High-earning moms can lose up to 10% of their income for every child they have, Bloomberg reports.

A new study, which was published in the American Sociological Review, examined employment and family information from more than 5,000 women. The researchers found that low-income and middle-income women lose between 4% and 7% of their income per child, according to Quartz. But highly-skilled and highly-paid women lose more money per child.

“A lot of women are getting pushed into dropping out entirely for a few years because they can’t get a little leave at the beginning or because they can’t get enough flexibility,” New York University professor and the study’s lead researcher Paula England told Bloomberg. The publication explains that when high-earning women take a break from the workforce, they can miss out on career and financial opportunities that will impact their earnings down the line. England says that employers can counter this “motherhood penalty” by offering parental leave to employees and creating a culture that doesn’t shame women for taking time off to raise their children.

But while women take a monetary hit for having children, men get financial bonuses of around 6% for every child they have, per Bloomberg. That’s because men with children are often seen as reliable, but for women, England said, “Employers have a bias that mothers are going to do worse, so they don’t promote them or pay them as much.”


More Must-Reads from TIME

Write to Samantha Cooney at samantha.cooney@time.com